Beethoven's 9th

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Don Higdon, Nov 20, 2000.

  1. We performed Beethoven's 9th this past Friday and Saturday. I was still playing Friday's notes yesterday; I'll finish up Saturday's notes sometime tomorrow.
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
  3. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm actually listening to that right now. It is, simply put, in my honest opinion, the finest piece of music EVER written.
  4. Jazz, I've got a little surprise for you. The four bar motif that becomes the Ode to Joy theme was not composed by Beethoven. More on this tomorrow, if anyone's interested...
  5. Well?
  6. Mozart wrote it. The phrase was written for the first violins in their accompaniment of a choral piece titled "Misericordia." I've sung the work, and I have the music. It is also structurally identical, in that the melody begins on the third of a major scale (this time F):
    3 4 5 5 4 3 2 1 2 3 3 etc. Mozart uses it a few times, in both major and minor (the half step, obviously, is in a different place). The music is home, so I can't give you the bar numbers right now.
    Good grief! I just realized I've written vocal tabs for Mozart!
    In fairness, it must be understood that composers of that era commonly used each other's phrases. It was even seen as a compliment. And, of course, what Beethoven did to develop the idea is unsurpassable.

    [Edited by Don Higdon on 11-22-2000 at 09:29 AM]
  7. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Don, I was actually familiar with that. It's true that many composers considered it an honor to use each other's phrases, even in the least. Medieval sampling. :)

    The poem that became the songs lyrics were not written by Beethoven either. Now, who wrote them I can't remember, but, as it is often stated that Beethoven was frustrated in his romantic life, some say that the lyrics and music were partly written for some particular female that he makes mention to earlier in his career. I had a music instructor who also believed that it was a poem that Beethoven had been "carrying around" for many years, with definite intent and ideas on its use in composition.
  8. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    cool, thanks for the info.
  9. Thanks, Don. Do know that Beethoven first used that motif and variations of it in the Choral Fantasy? Regarding the above, I think also the source of a melody didn't matter, the real composition was in the development. It's almost the opposite today where the guy that wrote the melody gets composer credit and somebody else "arranges" it.

    Regarding the poem, I also forget the author, but according to the biography by Solomon (I think), he discovered the poem as a boy and decided then he'd set it to music. It tool him nearly his entire life to find the right music. No mention is made of any female, rather that he was turned on by the strong "German ideals" the poem expresses despite the fact that the author's intent was to exalt alcohol consumption and life in the tavern.
  10. Maybe Schiller? I'll check it out when I get home
  11. Correct, Don. The Lyrics are from Schillers' "Ode to Joy"

    Text and translation of Symphony No. 9's Finale, by Friedrich Schiller, with a little intro by Beethoven.

    O Freunde, nicht diese To"ne!
    Sondern lasst uns angenehmere
    anstimmen, und freudenvollere!

    ODE TO JOY (Friedrich Schiller)

    Freude, Scho"ner Go"tterfunken,
    Tochter aus Elysium,
    Wir betreten feuer-trunken,
    Himmlische, dein Heiligtum!

    Deine Zauber binden wieder,
    Was die Mode streng geteilt;
    Alle Menschen werden Bru"der,
    Wo dein sanfter Flu"gel weilt.

    Wem der grosse Wurf gelungen,
    Eines Freundes Freund zu sein,
    Wer ein holdes Weib errungen,
    Mische seinen Jubel ein!

    Ja, wer auch nur eine Seele
    Sein nennt auf dem Erdenrund!
    Und wer's nie gekonnt, der stehle
    Weinend sich aus diesem Bund!

    Freude trinken alle Wesen
    An den Bru"sten der Natur;
    Alle Guten, alle Bo"sen
    Folgen ihrer Rosenspur.

    Ku"sse gab sie uns und Reben,
    Einen Freund, gepru"ft im Tod;
    Wollust ward dem Wurm gegeben,
    Und der Cherub steht vor Gott.

    Froh, wie seine Sonnen fliegen
    Durch des Himmels Pra"cht'gen Plan,
    Laufet, Bru"der, eure Bahn,
    Freudig, wie ein Held zum Siegen.

    Freude, scho"ner Go"tterfunken,
    ... ...

    Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
    Diesen Kuss der ganzen Welt!
    Bru"der u"ber'm Sternenzelt
    Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen.

    Ihr stu"rzt nieder, Millionen?
    Ahnest du den Scho"pfer, Welt?
    Such'ihn u"ber'm Sternenzelt!
    U"ber Sternen muss er wohnen.

    (English version)
    Text and translation of Symphony No. 9's Finale, by Friedrich Schiller, with a little intro by Beethoven.

    Oh, My friends,not these tones!
    Let us raise our voices in more
    pleasing and more joyful sounds!

    ODE TO JOY (Friedrich Schiller)

    Joy, fair spark of the gods,
    Daughter of Elysium,
    Drunk with fiery rapture, Goddess,
    We approach thy shrine!

    Thy magic reunites those
    Whom stern custom has parted;
    All men will become brothers
    Under thy gentle wing.

    May he who has had the fortune
    To gain a true friend
    And he who has won a noble wife
    Join in our jubilation!

    Yes, even if he calls but one soul
    His own in all the world.
    But he who has failed in this
    Must steal away alone and in tears.

    All the world's creatures
    Draw joy from nature's breast;
    Both the good and the evil
    Follow her rose-strewn path.

    And a friend loyal unto death;
    She gave lust for life to the lowliest,
    And the Cherub stands before God.

    Joyously, as his suns speed
    Through Heaven's glorious order,
    Hasten, Brothers, on your way,
    Exulting as a knight in victory.

    Joy, fair spark of the Gods,
    ... ...

    Be embraced, Millions!
    Take this kiss for all the world!
    Brothers, surely a loving Father
    Dwells above the canopy of stars.

    Do you sink before him, Millions?
    World, do you sense your Creator?
    Seek him then beyond the stars!
    He must dwell beyond the stars.

    [Edited by reedo35 on 11-22-2000 at 04:48 PM]
  12. So you don't think I'm making this all up, the proper name of Mozart's piece is Offertorium de tempore, Misericordias Domini, K.V. 222 fur 4 Singstimmen, 2 Violinen, Bass und Orgel. The Ode to Joy theme appears at bar 23.
  13. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Friedrich Schiller is a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. He teaches at a junior college called Diablo Valley College (DVC), or at least he used to. He teaches a humanities-based class "Music Appreciation." It's a very comprehensive class that covers musical styles from early human civilization, down through contemporary music, with emphasis on Western tonal systems. He has a doctorate in music, although I can't remember where it was received from. He has a wonderful personality and deep appreciation of music. He was affectionately known as "Dr. Fred."

    As part of the curriculum for his class, he dissects the 4th movement of symphony no.9. He takes the entire song, and from a non-musician's standpoint, breaks down the music and lyrics. It's a very fond piece for him, he has a lot of affection for it, and becomes quite animated while it's playing. I was fortunate enough to have his class, and thus was my introduction to this piece.

    He was quite a character, fond of his Jeep and always wearing tan Timberlands.

    So, sadly, Friedrich Schiller is not the writer of the poem, he just designed a music appreciation class curiculum around it. Unless, of course, there is some sort of dramatic coincidence. But, I am quite sure of this, as I took his class.

    (Note: Glenn Letsch currently teaches at the same JC, DVC.)
  14. The full name of the author is Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller and the "Ode to joy" was published in 1785.I
    think that this would have been several years before he
    started teaching at Diablo Valley. ;)
  15. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    How funny, because, I kid you not, there is an instructor, under that description, at DVC! He went by Fred Schiller, but his name was Freidrich Schiller.

    How small a world! :eek:
  16. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Hi everyone! I'm an idiot! Yep, that's true. You see, it's been awhile since I was in school, and I confused two of our instructors.

    The teacher I described, Dr. Fred, was Freidrich Johnson. We also have a Damon Schiller. Okay, everybody laugh at me, I know I know.

    The reason the confusion came about, was because I saw a website that listed the lyrics, along with a minute by minute description of the piece, with an accompanying introduction by an instructor saying that this was for educational purposes, and then it lists the Schiller name, and I got all confused, and it looked exactly like my teacher, and then the balloons, and the headaches, and ....

    um...nevermind. Everyone ignore me.
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You know, for a minute there, I was worried that it might be the same guy....after recently reading Wilde's "Portrait of Dorian Gray", I think almost anything is possible....I was about to ask if your Music Apprec teacher had any funky pictures in his attic, or whether the door going up there was always locked; it was going to be a long shot, but it might have explained why he "had a lot of affection for the piece", and "always got animated while it was playing".
    Ah well, least the DVC students can sleep easy tonight. :cool: